As an immigration attorney committed to a fair and workable immigration system, I am deeply concerned that the House of Representatives may bring H.R. 2278, the “Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act” (or “SAFE Act”), to the floor for a vote.
The SAFE Act is an extreme and regressive piece of legislation that would establish a deportation-only approach that leaders from both parties have rejected. It would criminalize undocumented immigrants, massively increase detention and enforcement costs, and do nothing to actually fix our broken immigration system.
Not only that, but states and cities could investigate, arrest and detain people for any violation of immigration law and could even create their own criminal and civil penalties for federal immigration violations – ideas the U.S. Supreme Court rejected just last year when it reviewed Arizona’s controversial “show me your papers” law, S.B. 1070.
This not only bad for immigrants, it is bad for the economy, for public safety and for our communities.
I urge Congressman Derek Kilmer to reject the SAFE Act, to oppose bringing it up for a vote and to call upon leadership to support meaningful reform instead.